Gladys was born in Puerto Rico on April 29, 1951 to parents Leonardo and Miguelina (Alequin) Gonzalez. In 1954, her family moved to New Jersey where she spent majority of her childhood and upbringing.
In 1976, she married the love of her live, Rafael Diaz. In 1980, Gladys and Rafael moved their family to Massachusetts where they resided for many years, before settling in Lakeland in 2014.
Gladys was a homeschooling liason for 25 years upon retiring in 2011.
She was a faithful member of Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal, and a member of their senior group, Los Clasico. Gladys was very active in her church, as she loved her church family so much. She also loved her family immensely, and enjoyed spending time with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She remained incredibly close and talked to her mother every single day, who survives her at 103 years old.
Gladys is preceded in death by her father, Leonardo Gonzalez and brother Wilfredo Morales.
In addition to her mother Miguelina Alequin, Gladys is survived by her husband of 47 years, Rafael Diaz; Daughters Valerie Milledge (Michael) and Raquel Riopolle (Lewis); Brother Dilo Morales; Sister Elzabeth Thomplison; Sister-in-law Lucy Diaz; Longtime friend Evelyn Negron; Grandchildren Melvin, Marcus, Malynda, Joshua, and Lyanessa; and 10 great-grandchildren.
A visitation will be held on Monday, September 11, 2023 from 10 to 10:30 a.m., followed by a funeral service to begin at 10:30 a.m., at Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal. Following services at the church, Gladys will be laid to rest at Serenity Gardens in Lakeland.
Condolences may be sent to the family at Gentry Morrison Funeral Home.
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